Fabrics need friends! Smart tip for successful scrap quilts

Fabrics need friends! Smart tip for successful scrap quilts

To make a great scrap quilt you need lots and lots of scraps, right? Well, yes, but have you ever finished a scrap quilt feeling a little let down by the results?

Attempting to use ALL your scraps in one project might not leave you with the look you were after. While it might be tempting to take the “kitchen sink” approach and throw in everything you have, more often you end up with a quilt that’s missing that special something—though you can’t put your finger on just what it is.

Spectrum quilt
“Spectrum” from Successful Scrap Quilts from Simple Rectangles

The very first patchwork quilts were scrap quilts, and they were literally made from whatever bits of fabric were available. Many of those old quilts appear to be totally random, but the best ones—those that capture and hold our attention—are the ones in which the fabrics come together just right.

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Sometimes it takes a fair amount of study to figure out just what makes a particular quilt work. Fortunately, the scrap-quilt experts among our authors have done the studying for us and are happy to share what they’ve learned.

Here’s a handy tip that’s easy to remember and always works.

Quick tip: fabrics need friends

Who knew even fabrics need friends? That tip is just a tiny sample of the wealth of information on value, color, and pattern you’ll find in Successful Scrap Quilts from Simple Rectangles by Judy Turner and Margaret Rolfe.

Quilts from Successful Scrap Quilts from Simple Rectangles
“Down Memory Lane,” “Bento Box,” and “Checkerboard.” Check out these and all the quilts in Successful Scrap Quilts from Simple Rectangles.


Sally Schneider’s spectacular scrap quilts demonstrate the skill acquired when you design hundreds of scrap-quilt patterns and write several books on the subject. Sally reveals that she now begins almost all her scrap quilts with a stack of fat quarters, and then uses one of three favorite methods to create the design: a coordinated-block method, a fabric-menu method, or a brown-bag method. Learn more about Sally’s techniques and see all 10 projects (each in multiple sizes) in Scrap Quilts Fit for a Queen.

Quilts from Scrap Quilts Fit for a Queen
“Merry-Go-Round,” “Farmer’s Daughter,” and “Ohio Star and Courthouse Steps” by Sally Schneider.

See more from Scrap Quilts Fit for a Queen >


Think you can’t make scrap quilts out of coordinated precut bundles? Let Rebecca Silbaugh show you the way. Although she’s a relative newcomer compared to the prolific authors just mentioned, her best-selling first book, Seamingly Scrappy, is filled with clever tips for making the most of convenient precuts. (Be sure to take a peek at Rebecca’s new book coming in June: Seems Like Scrappy.)

Quilts from Seamingly Scrappy
“Snow in June,” “Beloved,” and “Roll of Stamps” from
Seamingly Scrappy.

See more from Seamingly Scrappy >


Can’t get enough scrap-quilt patterns? All-Time Favorite Scrap Quilts from That Patchwork Place® includes 18 projects in a variety of sizes and styles. Here’s just a sample of what this treasury contains:

Quilts from All-Time Favorite Scrap Quilts from That Patchwork Place
“All in a Row” by Kim Diehl; “Arctic Nights” by Judy Hopkins; “Cherry Cobbler” by Cyndi Walker.

See more from All-Time Favorite Scrap Quilts >


Scrap quilts: Can’t stop making them or can’t quite get started? Tell us in the comments.

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